A cow's rib cage is about 3 feet in length, and the short ribs come from the lower half of the rib cage, closer to the loin. Short ribs are a tough meat but highly marbled in fat and full of flavor. Braising, a process that cooks the ribs slowly in liquid, tenderizes the meat while adding even more flavor. Braised short ribs are high in calories, total fat and saturated fat. Knowing the nutrition information can help you make adjustments to your diet to fit these ribs into your diet plan.
Braised short ribs are a calorie-dense meat. A 3.5 oz. serving of boneless braised short ribs trimmed of fat contains 240 calories. By comparison, the same size serving of broiled beef tenderloin -- considered a lean cut of meat -- contains 200 calories. Consuming too many calorie-dense foods can cause you to eat too many calories and lead to weight gain.
More than half of the calories in braised short ribs come from its fat content. A 3.5-oz. serving contains 14 g of total fat, 6.5 g of saturated fat and 105 mg of cholesterol. One serving of braised beef ribs meets 33 percent of your daily value for saturated fat and 35 percent of your daily value for cholesterol. The percent daily value was developed by the Food and Drug Administration and is based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults. High intakes of both saturated fat and dietary cholesterol increase blood cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories and dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg a day.
Protein and Carbohydrates
Braised short ribs are a good source of protein and are carbohydrate free. A 3.5-oz. serving contains 29 g of protein, meeting more than 50 percent of your daily value. As an animal source of protein, the short ribs provide your body with all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. The proteins in your body are constantly being broken down and replaced, and your body uses the amino acids in foods like the short ribs to make these necessary proteins.
Vitamins and Minerals
While the braised short rib makes a high-calorie and high-fat meat choice, it is a good source of a number of essential vitamins and minerals. A 3.5-oz. serving contains 3.2 mg of iron, 12 mg of zinc, 33.5 mcg of selenium and 3.92 mcg of vitamin B12.
- Amazing Ribs: Zen of Beef Ribs
- USDA; Nutrient Database; Beef, Chuck, Short Ribs, Boneless, Separable Lean Only, Trimmed to 0 Inches Fat, All Grades, Cooked, Braised
- MayoClinic.com; Energy Density and Weight Loss: Feel Full on Fewer Calories; January 2011
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010; Foods and Food Components to Reduce
- MayoClinic.com; Percent Daily Value; Katherine Zeratsky; May 2010
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein